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Overview

Cowes

Celebrate life by the water and soak up the relaxed seaside vibe in Cowes, Phillip Island's commercial hub, which positively bustles during the holiday season.

Beachside livin'

Set up for the day down at the north-facing beach, a perfect spot for picnics, beach adventures, water sports and playtime with the kids. Cool off with a swim and then peddle on over to San Remo along the dedicated path.

Dine out in seaside eateries and renowned restaurants, check out contemporary and Indigenous artworks at Mingara Gallery, or do a bit of shopping for souvenirs and artisan wares.

Just need to relax? Zone out at one of the town's divine day spas, sample craft ales at Rusty Water Brewery, or hit the lanes at the ten-pin bowling centre.

History beckons

If you want to learn about early life on the island, stop by the Phillip Island Historical Society Museum. Here you'll find exhibitions on geology, maritime history, aboriginal culture and the life of the early settlers.

Learn more about local Indigenous culture and the island's wildlife at the Shearwater Festival, complete with workshops, music and dance performances, environmental talks and street parade.

Sails in the sunset

Hire a boat from the Cowes launch and catch a fish to barbeque beachside or join a cruise around the bay and get a close look at the cute inhabitants of Seal Rocks. Want to go further? Catch the passenger ferry over Western Port to Stony Point on the Mornington Peninsula or on to French Island.

Big nature, big noise

Boasting the largest range of accommodation options on the island, Cowes is the perfect spot to use a base to explore the many local attractions. Pop into the iconic Penguin Parade and the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit Visitor Centre, located just ten minutes away. Visit the island at race time to experience the speed and excitement of the Superbike World Championship, the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix, or one of the many motor sport events held throughout the year.

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Things to do

Cowes

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Wildlife

Seals

Let Phillip Island's resident fur seals entertain you with their playful behaviour as they frolic, frisk and feed on their Seal Rocks home.

Road trips & itineraries

Bays & Surf Coast Touring Route

Visit Phillip Island, Mornington Peninsula, Geelong, the Bellarine and Surf Coast.

Tour operator

Exceptional Tours

Located just 90 minutes from Melbourne, Exceptional Tours is a boutique tour operator that prides itself on custom-made experiences. Hosted by a...

Leisure activities

A Maze'N Things

Take the kids for a day of optical illusions, puzzles and mazes, that will have you rolling around with laughter and scratching your heads in wonder.

Wildlife, zoos & farms

Phillip Island Nature Parks

See Phillip Island's little penguins emerge from the sea, peek at life inside a burrow, and spot other Australian animals at this wildlife wonderland.

Action sports

Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit Visitor Centre

Get your motor running with go-karting, guided circuit tours, a history of motor sport display, as well as Australia's largest slot car track.

Art galleries

Phillip Island Gallery

The Phillip Island Gallery is open every day of the year. Come and see some of the most beautiful, innovative and affordable art and craft works by...

Tour operator

Wildlife Coast Cruises

Spot seals, whales and more on environmentally accredited wildlife, twilight and lunch cruises, from Phillip Island to Wilsons Promontory.

Restaurants

Pino's Trattoria

Tucked away from the main street in Cowes, you will find one of the Island’s best known restaurants. This institution has been serving locals and...

Cycling

San Remo to Cowes Cycling Track

Starting at the bridge onto Phillip Island and ending at Cowes jetty, this flat ride is great for families and passes many island attractions.

National parks & reserves

Western Port

Formerly a major river drainage system inundated by the rising sea in the Holocene period, the Western Port sunkland now forms an extensive tidal...

Tour operator

Wild Oceans EcoBoat Tour

Experience the thrill of a high speed boat ride along Phillip Island’s rugged and spectacular coastline with Wild Oceans EcoBoat Tour and enjoy an...

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Water sports

Swimming

Splash around in the shallows t Phillip Island's sheltered bay beaches, or catch a wave at one of the wild surf beaches on the island's ocean side.

Nature & wildlife

Beaches and coastlines

Discover a beach to suit everyone at Phillip island's sheltered bay beaches and wild surf beaches, blowholes, caves and unusual rock formations.

History & heritage

Churchill Island Heritage Farm

Discover important Victorian history at Churchill Island and take home local delicacies from the thriving farmers' market.